COVID-19 treatments, tests, vaccines available locally, throughout Wisconsin
For the Tomahawk Leader
LINCOLN COUNTY – The Lincoln County Health Department (LCHD) recently reminded the public that COVID-19 treatments, as well as tests and vaccines, are available throughout the area and the state.
“Over the last several weeks, there has been a slight increase in COVID-19 activity, locally and throughout the state,” LCHD said. “LCHD wanted to take the opportunity to make sure residents were aware of antiviral medication options.”
LCHD said the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) recently issued an update that oral antiviral medications for the treatment of COVID-19 are now widely available across the state.
“Wisconsinites with symptoms of COVID-19 are urged to test as soon as possible and talk to their healthcare provider to see if any one of the approved COVID-19 treatments is right for them,” LCHD stated.
In Dec. 2021, two oral antiviral medications received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19. LCHD noted that the medications, Paxlovid and Lagevrio (molnupiravir), are proven to reduce hospitalizations and deaths for patients, by as much as 88% with Paxlovid.
In addition to oral antivirals, the monoclonal antibody treatment bebtelovimab and the monoclonal antibody preventative Evusheld are also widely available.
Individuals must have a prescription from a healthcare provider or designated Test-to-Treat site, where people are able to get tested for COVID-19, and if a test result is positive, a prescription from a healthcare provider can be provided, if such treatment is appropriate for the individual. The prescription can be filled at the Test-to-Treat location.
Currently, Walmart and Walgreens in Merrill are Lincoln County’s Test-to-Treat sites.
LCHD said Paxlovid (for people age 12 and older) and Lagevrio (for people age 18 and older) are recommended for individuals with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 illness who have tested positive for COVID-19; are at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization or death; and can start treatment within five days of symptom onset.
“In order to be prescribed treatment, it is very important to test early,” LCHD stated.
LCHD provides free COVID-19 PCR testing to the public. Testing takes place on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Lincoln County Health and Human Services Building, 607 N. Sales Street, Merrill. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are accepted. Limited appointment slots are available. Pre-register at www.lincolncountyhealthdepartment.com. For assistance with online registration, call 715-539-2584.
“Remember, vaccination is your best protection from COVID-19,” LCHD said.
LCHD is continuing to partner with AMI Expeditionary Healthcare to provide COVID-19 vaccine clinics on Tuesday, May 10; Tuesday, May 17; and Tuesday, May 24; and Thursday, May 12; Thursday, May 19; and Thursday, May 26, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. each day at LCHD, 607 N. Sales Street, Merrill.
Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are offered. First, second, booster and pediatric doses are available. Appointments are preferred. Walk-ins are accepted. Pre-register at www.vaccinate.wi.gov/en-US or call LCHD’s COVID-19 Line at 715-539-1375.